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Scholar Highlights for Week Ending September 7, 2012

September 10, 2012


  • This week I moved in with my Chilean family. I am their third homestay daughter, but I am the first black daughter that they have had. They were very interested in me, my family, my home, and of course my hair. They welcomed me well on the first day and introduced me to their family. They love their family. I am learning that family is a very important part of Chilean culture.
  • Arica has several different ways of transportation: taxi, bus, or a collectivo. The cheapest means of transportation is the collectivo, and I take it to my Spanish classes in the morning. A collective only costs 500 Chilean pesos which is equivalent to an American dollar. Collectivos have different numbers or letters on them which correspond with the route they travel (equal to a bus). I take the “U” to school and almost everywhere else. Arica is a small city so you can walk to almost anywhere in an hour or less. I am enjoying my Academic Seminar classes at the Universidad de Tarapaca. This week we discussed the two different types of Healthcare systems in Chile. There are two types public and private. The problems that exist in the public sector are long wait times and not enough resources. A good thing is the homeless also have access, and they do not have to pay. In the private sector the beneficiaries can only claim their spouses and children. The doctors in the private sector are better and the resources. A lot of times in the public sector there are less qualified people assisting the patients.
  • A lot of the people in Arica love soccer. I went to a soccer game and it seemed like man from Arica was there. My father told me that most women do not go to soccer games. It was my first soccer game and I enjoyed myself. I noticed that during the game the crowd whistled when there was a good play and also sometimes when someone did something embarrassing on the field. It is different than the states. In the states we simply clap and cheer, rarely do we whistle.
  • I am still trying to get used to the way they eat here. The food is good I especially like eating empanadas and ice cream all the time. Tomatoes are grown fresh in Arica and they are amazing with some olive oil and lemon juice. What I do not like is that my family only eats meat for lunch and for breakfast and dinner all I eat is bread. I have never been a big bread eater and I am becoming tired of bread. They also eat cookies, cake, and ham for breakfast and dinner. I do not like eating sweets as part of my meals also. One thing I do like about the meals is that they are always eaten together as a family. At home in the United States my family rarely eats meals together, so I like the change. I always like spending time with family.
  • This week has been good. I can notice that my Spanish is becoming better in both listening and speaking. I enjoy talking to people in Spanish and they like talking back to me in English. I also have picked up the habit of asking questions about everything. This is a good thing because I learn more things this way. Next week I want to share a bit of my culture with my family. I plan to cook a meal for them. Also, next week I will learn about the Epidemiology in Arica and in Chile.
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